A few weeks ago, The New York Times‘ food section came out with a recipe for Simple Crusty Bread. It’s actually easier (is that possible?) than Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread, which ran in the Grey Lady in November of 2006.
It’s not quite the same – no artisanal shatter to the crust, just a homey, honest-to-goodness loaf of white bread.
But. But. It plays dress-up.
I made two loaves from grapefruit-sized lumps of dough, as the original recipe suggests. I had almost as much dough leftover, waiting patiently for me in the fridge.
Why bake plain bread dough, when you can laminate it with butter to make cheater brioche, douse it with sugar and cinnamon and pecans, and roll it up into sticky buns in half an hour?
As I jotted down my notes, I kept writing cinn rolls, ground cinn, and kept wondering: Is this pastry sin? No kneading? No turns?
I’ll admit, I was a little surprised they turned out as well as they did.
Never too proud.
Cheater Cinnamon Sticky Buns (PDF)
Recipe 358 of 365
Based on a recipe for Simple Crusty Bread, a basic no-knead white bread that takes about four seconds to whip together, these sticky buns satisfy wintry sticky bun cravings in a flash.
TIME: 30 minutes active time
MAKES: About 8 sticky buns
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 pounds Simple Crusty Bread dough (about the size of 2 grapefruits)
All-purpose flour, for rolling out dough
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
Vegetable oil spray
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, and zest until blended. Set aside.
The dough should be rather sticky – sprinkle it all over with flour. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about the size of a legal pad.
Slice the butter very, very thin, like you’re using it for toast. Arrange half the butter slices evenly over half the dough. (It doesn’t matter which half, just make sure the butter pats are flat.) Fold the empty half over the buttered half, and re-roll the dough back to legal pad size. Repeat with the remaining butter, and roll the dough out again.
Sprinkle the dough with the sugar mixture. Starting with one long side, roll the dough up into a spiral. Cut the dough into eight to ten 1” rolls.
Spray an 8” cake pan with vegetable oil spray. Place the rolls in the pan, and sneak any extra sugar and nuts that fall out when cutting the rolls into the cracks between the rolls. (If desired, you can place the end bits in another pan and bake them separately.)
Let rolls rise at room temperature for 45 minutes. (You can also refrigerate the rolls overnight, then let rise in the morning for 1 hour.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the rolls are puffed and set in the center and the sugar has caramelized to the bottom of the pan. Immediately invert the rolls onto a serving plate, and scrape any remaining caramel over the rolls. Serve hot.